Jump to content

What is the joy..: Executor


shootingstar
 Share

Recommended Posts

Tell me of your experiences as executor for an estate.  

From what I've read so far --legal requirements and case law, it's not a role of honour. It appears to be alot of work, required accurate details, making other parties happy, protecting oneself from litigation... and nice to know there are services like 1-800-gotjunk.

Without getting details, we will find out who it will be in a few days.

1 simple example:  AFter my father's death, my siblings were driven abit nuts for a few weeks, because my father had a slightly different name he used when entering into Canada.  Anyway....it got straightened and stuff passed over to my mother.  And my father didn't have much ...the biggest asset was a house.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites



17 minutes ago, shootingstar said:

and nice to know there are services like 1-800-gotjunk.

I've used them twice in the last couple of years. Fortunately it was when moving people into nursing homes and not upon death.

My sister-in-law has a mess as executor. Her father was a financial idiot such as buying a house at 73 years old. One of her brothers is freeloading in the home and not planning on moving out. This brother was also on her father's checking account and removed all the money while checks and bills were outstanding. 

  • Sad 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

From what I remember from my Dad's experience after his parent's death it is a difficult job, an is made more so with unruly siblings.

When my mother passes, I think the biggest thing will be to make her house presentable for a sale...however we might be forced to sell it if she needs to go into nursing home. Anyway in the end, I'm sure it'll get divided up whatever little left there will be.  Myself and all siblings, each own their own homes.  No one lacks a home at this time.

House is in a lovely in-fill neighbourhood with park, community garden nearby, 15 min. walk from 2 different transit bus stops which hook up to the subway system. And yes, there are bike lanes on her street with an elementary school.  It's all with mature trees...highly desired.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It can be difficult if people are involved :whistle:.  One of my friends is dealing with her mother's estate and 2 wack job sisters and 1 sane sister.

On the other hand...Some of the children of my residents have been very reasonable.

What has been the relationship with family members before the death? Did Dearie have a will?  A will can help...another thing..when distributing personal belongings..it is just stuff. 

I will say I would probably do it differently at 40 or 60 than I did at 23. Sometimes we want things..just to fill the GAP left by the loss of the loved one.

There is a reason..I call it the executioner of the estate :whistle:

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was just reading this article in AARP about how to be an executor.  It made me laugh because at one point they talked about be prepared for resentment from people who are jealous of your power and authority.  I sent that clip to my sisters and we al had a good laugh!

Based on our experience with my parents estate, it is a lot of mundane work - cancelling accounts handling paperwork and dealing with details.  But I can imagine it can be more stressful if the "heirs" are fighting.  We weren't dealing with expensive personal items, but I've seen people fight over small things just due to emotion.  My sisters and I went through this a few times with no fighting.  We were all sort of glad if anyone wanted a personal item because we were glad it found a home where it would be valued. 

I guess it is an honor in the sense that the person thought the executor was honest, fair and reliable, but it is an honor that involves a lot of work.

Neither of my sisters took any extra money for being the executrix (or Trixie as we called it), but I made sure to give them each a nice gift to show my appreciation for their extra work.  And we all pitched in for things like cleaning out the home (followed by a nice meal when we were done for the day, what we called "an estate lunch" :)  )

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/planning-for-retirement/info-2021/how-to-be-a-good-executor.html

  • Like 2
  • Awesome 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, petitepedal said:

It can be difficult if people are involved :whistle:.  One of my friends is dealing with her mother's estate and 2 wack job sisters and 1 sane sister.

On the other hand...Some of the children of my residents have been very reasonable.

What has been the relationship with family members before the death? Did Dearie have a will?  A will can help...another thing..when distributing personal belongings..it is just stuff. 

I will say I would probably do it differently at 40 or 60 than I did at 23. Sometimes we want things..just to fill the GAP left by the loss of the loved one.

There is a reason..I call it the executioner of the estate :whistle:

Petite, after all this sorted out...I could write a serious novel and we've barely just begun.

At this time, the children do not have a 360 degree understanding of their father's life....especially after they left home when they became adults and saw him less. They saw him....as alot of children see parents:  someone from whom they got something.  The parent as the constant giver / protector --whether it's advice, money, food, etc....even if the children are in their 40's.  

 They may be surprised when they see my photos of dearie at MY family events over the past 30 years...him among a pile of Asian faces and mixed-race kids.

Until recently they had no clue how much he contributed to the Metro Vancouver cycling advocacy world.  This is where the trail evidence of articles, photos on the 'Net is so useful.

I advise that people here, slowly tell stories of key family stuff to adult children. Don't worry if your children aren't "listening".....sometimes they really are. They might be faking their boredom...especially if they hardly see the parent anymore.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It was tough on my lawyer sister when our mom passed but she did a good job handling  everything. My mom also divvied up certain responsibilities among siblings so no one person had total  control of everything.  For example she added me to all of her bank accounts so I guess she trusted me with her money.  Her will was also really specific. 

As my mom had most of her kids young and lived into her 80’s most of us were 50’s to 60’s so we really didn’t need nor expect much.  

The house situation did get weird as one sister was caring for her towards the end and refused to leave?  We nearly had to get law enforcement involved to evict her.  The middle brother also refused to get his stuff out of the garage. He & his kids lived with our mom after his divorce and my mom let him have 1/2 the garage for his stuff.  He was already remarried but kept his stuff in there after she passed.

I told him we’re selling the house, you gotta clear out the garage. Yeah I know. Well when?  I don’t know... My ass I don’t know, junk man is gonna haul away all your stuff if it’s not gone by next weekend.  As he was clearing out his stuff he said he always figured he could come back to the house, it was his safety net but now realizes it’s gone... That was hard for me to wrap my head around but people see things differently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, ChrisL said:

It was tough on my lawyer sister when our mom passed but she did a good job handling  everything. My mom also divvied up certain responsibilities among siblings so no one person had total  control of everything.  For example she added me to all of her bank accounts so I guess she trusted me with her money.  Her will was also really specific. 

As my mom had most of her kids young and lived into her 80’s most of us were 50’s to 60’s so we really didn’t need nor expect much.  

Your mom was smart. 

I anticipate some incredible naivete and extreme denial of reality from the kids, where I am/will be.  I hope they have trolled the govn't site and seen how much probate fees are, as a starter.  They don't even really know about lawyer fees and how fast it can mount. (vs. what I do know because of working for several big law firms, attitude of lawyers...deliberately adversarial in relationship-building.)

All I know is that when my mother passes, it's gonna be way calmer on my family's side...'cause there ain't gonna be much left.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 5/16/2021 at 6:28 AM, shootingstar said:

Tell me of your experiences as executor for an estate.  

My wife is currently in the middle of the role for her father's small estate.  We discuss this role a LOT in our home.  She would tell people that not only will she NEVER take that role again, she would recommend the NO ONE take that role as well.

When her father died, there was a short list of executors listed.  #1 passed. #2 passed. #3 passed. My wife, #4, realized that one more pass would mean it goes to California courts to appoint an executor, so she accepted.  What a sucky position to be in with undue stress.  In our opinion, it would have made better sense to hire an outsider - for a fee - to just do it all, instead of us taking it on and dealing with the ensuing nonsense. 

So, unless the estate is super simple and/or small, I would suggest getting a professional to do it all.  Let them sort all the stuff out, take their fees, and then distribute what's left.  Way less drama.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

My wife is currently in the middle of the role for her father's small estate.  We discuss this role a LOT in our home.  She would tell people that not only will she NEVER take that role again, she would recommend the NO ONE take that role as well.

When her father died, there was a short list of executors listed.  #1 passed. #2 passed. #3 passed. My wife, #4, realized that one more pass would mean it goes to California courts to appoint an executor, so she accepted.  What a sucky position to be in with undue stress.  In our opinion, it would have made better sense to hire an outsider - for a fee - to just do it all, instead of us taking it on and dealing with the ensuing nonsense. 

So, unless the estate is super simple and/or small, I would suggest getting a professional to do it all.  Let them sort all the stuff out, take their fees, and then distribute what's left.  Way less drama.

What type of professional for fee does executor role work in a reliable way?  

Thx for your wife's real life experience so far, Razor.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My father was executor for his parents' estate.  First, any property that was specifically granted to anyone in my grandparent's wills was distributed to those named.

Next, to avoid any issues, he had an estate appraiser come in and assign a value to virtually every single thing that was part of the estate.  That established the value of the total estate, less the house.

That number was divided equally amongst the four children.

Then, if one of my Dad's sisters or his brother wanted something from the estate, the value of that item was deducted from that person's share of the estate, and a third of that value added to the other three siblings' share.  If two siblings wanted the same item, they basically bid for it.

The system worked remarkably well for assuring everybody received what they wanted without any money changing hands, except that some of my Grandmother's jewelry that mysteriously disappeared after some family members walked through the house during an unannounced visit.

I've been named executor for my parents' estate, and had planned to use the same approach.  Unfortunately my parents named me on an equal basis with a sibling I can no longer trust for reasons I will not go into.  I will likely submit a petition to the court to have my name removed as executor, as the liability I will incur as a result of my sibling's inevitable mishandling of the estate is too great.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

I've been named executor for my parents' estate, and had planned to use the same approach.  Unfortunately my parents named me on an equal basis with a sibling I can no longer trust for reasons I will not go into.  I will likely submit a petition to the court to have my name removed as executor, as the liability I will incur as a result of my sibling's inevitable mishandling of the estate is too great.

You would have to submit a petition?  The prior three simply had to "pass" and sign the document stating they did not want to be the executor.  Do some states make it a legal responsibility you have to agree to beforehand?  Out here, it was just the list of possible executors, and none had to do it if they didn't want to. But regardless, if it looks like the process is going to be messy, get it done by a third party, not you or the no-goodnik sibling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Razors Edge said:

You would have to submit a petition?

Yes.  In my state an executor who no longer wishes to serve is required to submit a standardized form advising the court.  Once submitted, the legal obligations and duties that are encumbent on the individual as an executor are ended.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

My father was executor for his parents' estate.  First, any property that was specifically granted to anyone in my grandparent's wills was distributed to those named.

Next, to avoid any issues, he had an estate appraiser come in and assign a value to virtually every single thing that was part of the estate.  That established the value of the total estate, less the house.

That number was divided equally amongst the four children.

Then, if one of my Dad's sisters or his brother wanted something from the estate, the value of that item was deducted from that person's share of the estate, and a third of that value added to the other three siblings' share.  If two siblings wanted the same item, they basically bid for it.

The system worked remarkably well for assuring everybody received what they wanted without any money changing hands, except that some of my Grandmother's jewelry that mysteriously disappeared after some family members walked through the house during an unannounced visit.

I've been named executor for my parents' estate, and had planned to use the same approach.  Unfortunately my parents named me on an equal basis with a sibling I can no longer trust for reasons I will not go into.  I will likely submit a petition to the court to have my name removed as executor, as the liability I will incur as a result of my sibling's inevitable mishandling of the estate is too great.

Interesting about how your father handled it.

After reading some CAnadian case law summaries, the liability of executor is real.  Presumably you will have to pay a small fee to submit the court petition for removal of your name as executor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, shootingstar said:

What type of professional for fee does executor role work in a reliable way?  

In the States there is a term/role called Professional Fiduciary. California has a organization for them. In Oregon not as many. Essentially you hire them instead of a lawyer that is billing $$$. I quick googled in Oregon and saw that there were a few lawyers that acted in that role. I'm a bit unclear on the fees. You would not want a lawyer charging $600/hr coming out to the house 2x/week. I believe they are bonded. 

idk if Canada has such a role

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Scrapr said:

In the States there is a term/role called Professional Fiduciary. California has a organization for them. In Oregon not as many. Essentially you hire them instead of a lawyer that is billing $$$. I quick googled in Oregon and saw that there were a few lawyers that acted in that role. I'm a bit unclear on the fees. You would not want a lawyer charging $600/hr coming out to the house 2x/week. I believe they are bonded. 

idk if Canada has such a role

I'm inquiring via a national bank, the estate division which no doubt there's a fee to all this probably in terms of estate value basis. It will be useful just to even know for other situations in the future. I totally agree a lawyer is too expensive. 

If such a position exists it's not expressed in this terminology in Canada. Of course, there are questions on the U.S. side on the true expertise of a certified person. 

Over 30yrs. ago, I had a good friend (whom I've lost touch) who worked in the estate and trust services division for a major national bank...and she explained to me abit.  It sounded so foreign to me at that time.  She would have been a good client-facing employee....very detail-oriented, yet personable.  She also loved political science (as her university major) and would have understood some basic legal requirements to apply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

Yes.  In my state an executor who no longer wishes to serve is required to submit a standardized form advising the court.  Once submitted, the legal obligations and duties that are encumbent on the individual as an executor are ended.

So, in your state, you "opt in" to the become the executor, and now you want to opt out as things have gone sideways?  For my wife's situation, she was named in the executor list but that was just her father choosing the list in the order he preferred.  Likely things might have run a bit smoother if the process here was 1) develop list of executors, 2) get signed verification they are willing & able to fulfill the duties, and 3) provide a smoother process for having a third party step in.

Regarding cost & fees, my wife will, in addition to her part of the estate, receive a payment off the top based on the total estate size.  It should be in the 2-2.5% range, as the standard structure here is something like 4-3-2-1% where the %age goes down as value goes up.  So, assuming some third party would charge too, it seems a wash to me, but at least the $$$ stay in the family.

14 hours ago, shootingstar said:

the liability of executor is real

The estate pays specifically for a lawyer to "protect" the executor.  We meet with the lawyer again next week to discuss the first of two likely main distributions.  The lawyer is relatively a small cost to pay to make sure the proper documents are filed, the proper notifications performed, and that the executor is acting within the "reasonable" range of actions during the process.  If you are an executor, make sure you also have the legal help you need.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

So, in your state, you "opt in" to the become the executor

No.  A person names another to serve as executor.  There is no formal 'opt in' process for the person being named to act as executor in a will.  That person being so named needs do nothing.

 

3 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

and now you want to opt out as things have gone sideways? 

I can assure you it was not a decision made lightly as a matter of mere convenience.

Were I ever to act as an executor for my parent's estate, that in itself means both my parents would be dead.  It would also mean that I would simply be managing the disposal of their worldly goods - things.  I have all the worldly goods I need.  There is nothing they own that I want, and I would trade everything that might come my way from settlement of their estate for a minute more with my parents. 

As I see it, the focus to maintaining a grip on sanity is to recognize what one may control, what one may influence, and when neither of those are possible.  My parents said they specifically selected me as an executor because of my abilities to reason, and to make disinterested and dispassionate decisions; even to make the 'right' decisions though they would be personally detrimental to me.

You've mentioned retaining a lawyer to act as advisor and guide. That only works well when the lawyer's advice and guidance are accepted and acted upon. 

By observing other's behavior in similar situations one can gauge fairly well how future situations will play out.  As various stressful situations have arisen with my parent's care, I have observed decisions contrary to reason, with little regard to consequences legal or otherwise, no forethought to planning beyond the immediate crisis, little to no willingness to receive input, and complete misunderstanding of even the function and purpose of the various legal documents.  Time, patience, consideration, forgiveness, and forbearance have had no effect; and not for want of effort.

In such a situation even a lawyer will provide no shield from another's poor decisions over which I would have no control or influence, but I could (and likely would) have legal responsibility. 

And for what? For things.  Things that, as I said, I have no interest in and have little meaning to me.  Let those who prize material objects take them - as much and as many as they wish - in whatever manner they wish - and let them have the sole responsibility for the manner in which they do it and the quantity that they receive.

  • Awesome 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Thaddeus Kosciuszko said:

No.  A person names another to serve as executor.  There is no formal 'opt in' process for the person being named to act as executor in a will.  That person being so named needs do nothing.

 

I can assure you it was not a decision made lightly as a matter of mere convenience.

Were I ever to act as an executor for my parent's estate, that in itself means both my parents would be dead.  It would also mean that I would simply be managing the disposal of their worldly goods - things.  I have all the worldly goods I need.  There is nothing they own that I want, and I would trade everything that might come my way from settlement of their estate for a minute more with my parents. 

As I see it, the focus to maintaining a grip on sanity is to recognize what one may control, what one may influence, and when neither of those are possible.  My parents said they specifically selected me as an executor because of my abilities to reason, and to make disinterested and dispassionate decisions; even to make the 'right' decisions though they would be personally detrimental to me.

You've mentioned retaining a lawyer to act as advisor and guide. That only works well when the lawyer's advice and guidance are accepted and acted upon. 

By observing other's behavior in similar situations one can gauge fairly well how future situations will play out.  As various stressful situations have arisen with my parent's care, I have observed decisions contrary to reason, with little regard to consequences legal or otherwise, no forethought to planning beyond the immediate crisis, little to no willingness to receive input, and complete misunderstanding of even the function and purpose of the various legal documents.  Time, patience, consideration, forgiveness, and forbearance have had no effect; and not for want of effort.

In such a situation even a lawyer will provide no shield from another's poor decisions over which I would have no control or influence, but I could (and likely would) have legal responsibility. 

And for what? For things.  Things that, as I said, I have no interest in and have little meaning to me.  Let those who prize material objects take them - as much and as many as they wish - in whatever manner they wish - and let them have the sole responsibility for the manner in which they do it and the quantity that they receive.

Wow.  That's a lot :(  Sorry that you have to deal with that even prior to dealing with an estate settlement.

Is it too late to 1) have your parents remove you as executor and appoint a third party to do it, and 2) maybe convincing them to donate the whole estate - the whole kit and kaboodle - to a charity or good cause? 

I think the third party in a fiduciary role acting to settle the estate and make a straightforward distribution (to heirs or a charity) is really the wisest and most reasoned path especially if running into various roadblocks while your parents are still alive.  In hindsight, it is absolutely what I would have pushed my FiL to do, but that wasn't something I knew to do at the time nor likely could have convinced him to do :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...